Who’s at the controls?
Participants at protests against police brutality will include those hurt by the violence or deaths; those who are seeking to give support for or against; to those who intentionally want to obstruct the developing unity among those that are most affected. This is not a time to take sides, but to demand justice and accountability. Let us be clear about our demands to solve the deaths and not argue over whose lives matter more than others.
As others have said, all the money in the world will not bring back the lives of the many people who died unnecessarily. The police have military gear and policies of shoot to kill rather than assess and provide assistance; they are protecting their own lives because they also fear death. We need to take the time to figure out killer instincts – the reasons and conditions that convince an individual or person in uniform to kill.
Our movement, our community must demand accountability and oversight. What does this mean? Let’s be clear that it is our taxes and public funds which pay for all this violence against our youth and community members. Furthermore, it is our public money which pays for the prisons, jails, detention centers, public defenders and prosecutors. We pay for the judges and court employees including their exorbitant salaries and benefits. We are paying for their surveillance equipment and technology to watch every step we take to keep us in check. Are we all criminals or potential criminals and lawbreakers?
The police and those who they represent want to control us. Many people have been convinced and have the impression that police protect us; but we are seeing that this is not the case on an equal basis. We must remember and need to assert that they work for us. We have a right to determine their training and review their actions. Let us not give up the power that is ours. We need a new system that values life; more civilized than an “eye for an eye” vengeance.